Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Oh, snap: Cable wakeboarding injury paper falls to duplication

with 2 comments

A team of what you might call daredevil researchers has lost a paper about a sport called cable wakeboarding after they tried to publish, in English, a very similar version of what they’d published in German.

We have a confession to make: Before sitting down to write this post, we had no idea what cable wakeboarding was. So before we discuss the retraction, here’s a definition, courtesy of CableWakeboarding.com:

Cable wakeboarding is simply wakeboarding while being pulled not by a boat, but by an overhead cableski system. It’s definitely the coolest addition to the distinguished list of extreme sports throughout the world, because it combines the best of the extreme nature of wakeboarding without the need for (or expense of) a boat. Cable is an enormously valuable and important element of the entire sport of wakeboarding.

Now to the retraction notice for “Cable wakeboarding, a new trendy sport: analysis of injuries with regard to injury prevention,” published online in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports online in 2010:

The following article “Cable wakeboarding, a new trendy sport: analysis of injuries with regard to injury prevention” published by M. D. Schofer, S. A. Hrabal, N. Timmesfeld, S. Fuchs-Winkelmann, T. Patzer in Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, Early View, 15 July 2010 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01158.x) has been retracted by agreement between the journal Editor in Chief and JohnWiley & Sons A/S. The retraction has been agreed due to significant overlap with a previously published article: “Verletzungsarten und Verletzungshäufigkeiten beim Cable-Wakeboard: eine prospektive saisonbegleitende Studie” subtitled “Incidence and Mechanism of Injuries in Cable-Wakeboarding, a Prospective Study”, Sportverletzung Sportschaden 2009; 23:141–147.

We’ve contacted the corresponding author and the journal’s editor for more details. In the meantime, here’s the abstract of the German version, translated into English:

Cable-wakeboarding has become more and more popular in the last years in Germany and worldwide as well. The mechanism, frequency and severity of injuries is still unclear and not described in the literature yet. Thus to compare the injuries of cable-wakeboarding with similar sports we decided to perform this prospective study during a six months summer season. The Study included 122 actives with a mean age of 25 years (15-42, +/- 5.876), 81,1% male, sending an online questionnaire to us every month. 98% of the participants Suffered 277 injuries during 8647 hours of activity, 108 (39%12/1000 h) had to be treated medically. We found Out most frequently mild injuries (61%19.5/1000 h), 15% very severe injuries (4.8/1000 h), 14% severe injuries (4.5/1000 h) and 10% medium-severe injuries (3.2/1000 h). Injuries of the knee and the shoulder dominated in more than 20% each with more than 70% distorsions and contusions. Conclusion: Cable-wakeboarding is not more dangerous in regard to injuries than similar trendy sports even though the rate of mild injuries not treated medically is quite higher.

The Scandinavian:

Cable wakeboarding has enjoyed an increasing popularity worldwide over the past years. The aim was to analyze the data gained in a prospective Descriptive Epidemiologic Study during a 6-month summer season in order to propose preventive methods with the goal of reducing injury severity and frequency. The study included 122 participants with a mean age of 25 years having regularly submitted a monthly, online questionnaire. Ninety-eight percent of the participants sustained 277 injuries over 8647 h of activity, 108 (39%; 12/1000 h) had to be treated medically. The most common form of injuries were mild injuries (61%; 19.5/1000 h), 15% were very severe (4.8/1000 h), 14% were severe (4.5/1000 h) and 10% were medium-severe (3.2/1000 h). More than 20% of injuries were to the knee and shoulder with 470% being distorsions and contusions. Severe injuries were mostly observed during rotational jumps. Injury prevention in cable wakeboarding has to address the training of jumps and tricks and the construction of obstacles and ramps. Cable wakeboarding is not more dangerous when comparing rates of injury of similar and related popular sports, even though the rate of mild injuries not requiring medical treatment is somewhat higher.

Update, 1:30 p.m. Eastern, 8/23/12: SJMSS editor Stephen D.R. Harridge tells us it was the publishers of the German journal version that alerted him to the duplication.

Hat tip: Clare Francis

Comments
  • chirality August 7, 2012 at 11:57 am

    “a sport called cable wakeboarding” – is it an attempt to circumvent the Geneva Conventions?

  • Conrad T Seitz MD August 7, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    “We have ways to make you talk” came to mind…spoken with a thick Bavarian accent. No, it’s not torture, not unless you have to read it twice.

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